Saruman the Balrog of Moria?

Discussion in '"The Treason of Isengard"' started by Úlairi, Apr 10, 2002.

  1. Úlairi

    Úlairi Crying in the Wilderness

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    JRRT made an interesting writing somewhere that it was a possibiluty that the Balrog of Moria was indeed not a Balrog, but Saruman himself! However, it was discarder as Saruman (if he was a balrog) would have died and would then not have been seen later in LotR. However, it is an incredibly interesting concept that Tolkien considered this. Here is a few passages from the seventh volume of 'The History of Middle-earth: The Treason of Isengard'. The first is from page 236:

    On page 422 it says:

    The quotes are quite similar but I find it fascinating that Tolkien at one point considered the possibility that the Balrog of Moria could have Saruman. Anyone agree?
     
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  2. Mormegil

    Mormegil Guest

    Saruman in Moria is an interesting idea. But flawed for the reason that you pointed out; Saruman would not be able to appear later on.

    Tolkien also considered another possibility for this situation. One of the Nazgul.
    From 'The Return of The Shadow', Part 6 of HoME:

    "Gandalf turns back and holds off [?enemy], they cross the bridge but the B[lack] R[ider] leaps forward and wrestles with Gandalf. The bridge cracks under them and the last they see is Gandalf falling into the pit with the B[lack] R[ider]. there is a flash of fire and blue light up from abyss."

    This too is very interesting.

    But, I think JRRT made the right choice in the end by going with a Balrog.
     
  3. Gamil Zirak

    Gamil Zirak The Ladies' Dwarve

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    The Balrog could have been Saruman. Gandalf the Grey fell and came back as Gandalf the White. Isn't it feasable that Saruman could have fallen and come back as himself? He was a weaker person than he was before Gandalf fell.
     
  4. Lantarion

    Lantarion no house

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    That would be very interesting, because it would amplify our realization of Saruman's hatred and envy for Gandalf. Gandalf against Saruman. Perfect.
    But yes, Saruman could not have risen back from the dead! And in 'The Bridge of Khazad-dûm' Gandalf says he encountered a power more strong than he has never felt before; and as he was in constant concourse and in the presence of Saruman I would think he would have picked up Saruman's potency in the thousand years he was in Middle-Earth with him.
     
  5. Bucky

    Bucky Registered User

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    I believe Gandalf's exact comment is "I have never felt such a challange"

    Remember, unlike the movie, Gandalf & Saruman had never challanged each other, Saruman had just used physical means to hold Gandalf captive.

    You know, this is why I hate things like HoME or multiple versions of an event in UT.
    They ruin the 'historical integrity' of the fantasy world.
    I would just assume never to have heard about Bingo & Trotter.

    All I want is the finished product, or at most one version.....
     
  6. Greenwood

    Greenwood The Guild of Ost-in-Edhil

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    There is only one version. It is called The Lord of the Rings.

    HoME is fascinating from the standpoint of seeing a great writer at work and how his creation evolved in his mind as he wrote it. However, any attempt to present events from the four volumes of The History of the Lord of the Rings is a misuse of those volumes. There is no possibility that the balrog in Moria was Saruman. That was merely an idea Tolkien toyed with before he thought of the war between Saruman and Rohan and the Scouring of the Shire, etc.

    (Bucky, I too was horrified when I first read that Frodo was oribinally called Bingo!!!)
     
  7. Bucky

    Bucky Registered User

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    Remember Tolkien's comments on his promised Appendixes?

    "Botanists want more information on mallorns & elanors, Geologists on the Caves, Historians on the political structure of Gondor.....I wish no Appendix had been promised" (paraphrase)

    I look at ME as a history (yes, I know it's not), and anything that takes me out of cold, hard, finished facts is rather 'unsettling' to me......

    Just MHO.

    On the other hand, I did like 90% of UT & was glad when it came out.

    After that, Lost Tales lost me pretty quick & I quit looking for further publications like
    'HoME Volume 13: 'The Doodlings Of JRR Tolkien', subtitled:
    'Christopher Tolkien's Search For More Money'
     
  8. Úlairi

    Úlairi Crying in the Wilderness

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    When I become interested in a topic i.e. LotR, I investigate until nothing more can be. I posted this thread to see what people thought of Tolkien's ideas before he published LotR. Bucky, I agree, UT is a great read!
     
  9. Bucky

    Bucky Registered User

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    Yeah, UT is mostly 'in accord' with the other published writings.

    When CT started releasing totally incompatable material about 'Melko' & such, I lost interest.

    Lost Tales is so 'antiquated' in it's writing, & so different than the published Silm, I couldn't read it....
     
  10. Úlairi

    Úlairi Crying in the Wilderness

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    Yes, I found 'The Cottage of Lost Play' extremely drear and dull and antiquitating.
     
  11. pohuist

    pohuist Ignorant Loremaster

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    I think Tolkien toyed with the idea but discarded it later because it would be rather hard to reconcile Balrog living in ME some 6+ thousand years and Saruman sent to it much later by Valar. Also, although both Maia, they are of different order.
     
  12. Úlairi

    Úlairi Crying in the Wilderness

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    Almost on target pohuist, but wrong. You must remember that in some cases a 'type of Maia' is irrelevant to its order. Gothmog was a balrog, but he was inevitably of a higher order than the other balrogs as he is the High Captain of Morgoth's armies. Saruman may not have been bothered by a balrog form, he wasn't the equivalent of a normal balrog, he would have been a much more 'powerful' balrog.
     
  13. Bucky

    Bucky Registered User

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    I would have to say I don't agree.

    The Valar are the Valar; Maiar are Maiar.

    Each is it's own seperate 'order'.


    Within each are various degrees of 'power' or whatever word you want to use to describe their inherrant 'abilities', 'majesty', traits & giftings.

    Of the Valar, 9 (counting Melkor) were called the Aratar, the 'High Ones' of Arda......
    These were of surpasasing majesty to all, whether other Valar, Maiar or the Children of Illuvtar (happy Ponty?).

    So, I see Gothmog as of the same order as the other Balrogs, in their beginning probably from the same group of Maiar, as in 'the people' of Aule, like Sauron.
    Now, both Sauron & Curomo (Saruman) were of the 'people' of Aule, but Sauron was obviously the more powerful. Same with Gothmog, & say Durin's Bane (the wimp!).......

    Which Valar were the Balrogs originally 'people' of?
    My guess is 'The Maiar (or people) of Melkor'.
    Melkor must have had a few Maiar 'assigned' or given similar giftings to him in the beginning like the other Valar - I assume.
    The Simarillion clearly states they were the first drawn to him & became most like him in their corruption.
     
  14. pohuist

    pohuist Ignorant Loremaster

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    Ulairi,

    By 'order' I meant not the degree of power but whose Vala they were Maiar of. My understanding was that Balrogs were Maiar of Melkor, (can you enlighten me otherwise?), while Saruman was a Maia of Aule. Since the Moria Balrog was not Gothmog (also of Aule), the Balrog and Saruman were Maiar of different Valar. My argument as to time in ME still stands.
     
  15. Gamil Zirak

    Gamil Zirak The Ladies' Dwarve

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    We all know that they aren't the Durin's Bain and Saruman are two different people. The discussion began on a statement about the fact that Tolkien had considered making them the same. But he did not make them the same being. Hense the term "considered."
     
  16. Strider97

    Strider97 Registered User

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    In reading the original quotes posted by Ulairi I put a different spin on JRRT's consideration. I believe that he was considering Gandalf actually facing Sauruman, instead of the Balrog, in Moria as a test of strength. IMO he wanted a early showdown between the two but it would have hurt the storyline at Isengard. Instead he had the showdown at the tower of Orthanc.
     
  17. Úlairi

    Úlairi Crying in the Wilderness

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    Right on target Strider, I forgot to include that as I didn't see much importance in mentioning it, but, Tolkien thought that it would be interesting to have a test of strength with Saruman with Saruman being in his normal form or actually in the form of a balrog (I am unsure of how to interpret the text exactly).

    Bucky, I disagree. Gothmog was more 'powerful' than the other balrogs. If they were of the same 'order' or 'degree' of Maia than their powers would have been equal. Sauron was inevitably more powerful than Saruman, but many have made false claims that both Saruman and Sauron were of the same 'degree', yet one was more powerful than the other. Sauron was a more powerful Maia than Saruman obviously making him of a higher 'degree' than Saruman. This is also the same with Gothmog and the other balrogs.

    pohuist, I never had any problem with the time that the balrog spent on ME. My argument is that Gothmog was of higher 'degree' than the rest of the balrogs, it is simple logic.

    BtW, Bucky, if you believe that Gothmog was of same 'degree' than the other balrogs, then you are saying that Gothmog was of the same 'level of power' than the others. If you then say that Morgoth gave Gothmog more power than the others. Then you are saying that he randomly picked a balrog and said:

    "Ah, I think you'll do nicely Mr. Uh, what's your name?"

    "Gothmog sir," says Gothmog.

    "Hmmm, yes, you'll make a good High Captain, here is your extra power," says Morgoth.

    "Oh thankyou sir!" says Gothmog.
     
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  18. Bucky

    Bucky Registered User

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    Saruman to Gandalf when they meet for the 2nd time in Isengard after Helm's Deep:

    "Are we not both of the SAME order, most excellent in ME?"

    But, until Gandalf returned from the dead, he clearly states to Frodo "Saruman is the chief of my order..."

    So, now we see that they are similar in terms of being Maiar, of the same 'order', but with different levels of 'power'.

    And, in UT, in 'The Essay on the Istari', it's also stated that the emmissaries (Istari) sent by the Valar 'must be mighty, PEERS of Sauron, but must forgo might'
    Were they peers in terms of 'power'?
    No, obviously not.
    They were peers in terms of being of the same 'order', Maiar.

    Then, later "We must assume that they [the Istari] were all Maiar, that is persons of the 'angelic' order, though not neccessarily of the same rank.

    I rest my case........ ;)

    BTW, reread my previous post.
    I also clearly state that Gothmog was more powerful than the other Balrogs.
     
  19. Rangerdave

    Rangerdave He's Back!

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    Well, not quite, but close enough for government work. I may have this completely wrong but my understanding is that the terms Valar and Maiar are more social titles than any biological or species designation. Remember that both classes were Ainur before the creation of Arda. And no special designation is shown other that the Ainur that would eventually become the Valar were of the greatest in ability and native power. If I recall the term Valar translates in to roughly "Powers of the World". So then to call Manwe a Vala is like calling Aragorn Sire. It is a title rather than a descriptor.

    But as I said
    I could be wrong

    RD
     
  20. Úlairi

    Úlairi Crying in the Wilderness

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    There were 'degrees' of Maia Rangerdave, 'ranks' as Tolkien put it. Not social, but in order of 'power'. Sauron was of the highest order of the Maia of Aule and there were others below him. Bucky, was your argument supporting mine or against it, because it helped my argument quite a lot!